Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup

Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup on your table in 30 minutes!

This Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe is hearty, warm and savory, yet light, fresh and soothing at the same time.  It is the perfect quick and easy lunch or dinner and will warm you through and through. It requires minimal effort for a return of epic deliciousness. This easy Chicken Tortellini Soup is bursting with pillows of cheesy tortellini, tender chicken, and vegetables kissed with bright, refreshing lemon juice all made in ONE POT.

Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe in a white bowl on a cutting board


What is In Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup?

A bowl of chicken soup might be the ultimate comfort food.  Cozy up with a big bowl and feel the warmth radiate from the inside out.

But this Chicken Tortellini Soup is no ordinary chicken soup.  It boasts the same earthy herbs as traditional chicken noodle soup, but it is spiked with bright, fresh, lemon juice that enhances and enlivens every vibrant savory slurp.  And slurp you will.

Next, comes my favorite part.  Equally as important as the lemon twist is the addition of tortellini!  Just imagine tender cheesy tortellini swaddled by warm, seasoned broth and juicy chicken in every spoonful.  And then drool a little.

After using tortellini in my Creamy White Bean and Ham Tortellini Soup and then again in place of regular noodles in my  Chicken Tortellini Soup  my life was changed forever.  Spoonful after spoonful of tender noodle exterior giving way to cheesy interior. AKA soft melty cheese in every bite.  I was sold.

I would use those cheesy morsels in place of regular pasta in every-single pasta dish if the rest of the world was obsessed like me.   But for now, we’ll start tortellini global domination with this glorious Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe.

This Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe is rounded out with the addition of onions, garlic, carrots, corn, mushrooms and spinach.  You can customize the vegetables with whatever you have on hand – just don’t skip the lemon or tortellini 😊.  And now you have irresistible chunky Lemon Chicken Soup. The new comfort food.

Lemon Chicken Soup | Carlsbad Cravings

Can I use Chicken Breasts?

I used chicken thighs in this Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe because of their rich, juicy flavor but you can definitely use chicken breasts if you prefer – but I encourage chicken thighs! Chicken breasts are leaner than chicken thighs so they aren’t as juicy and dry out easier.

Chicken breasts take longer to cook than boneless chicken thighs, so you will need to simmer them closer to 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes. The chicken breasts are done when they easily shred with a fork.


Yes!  You are welcome to use shredded rotisserie chicken or even leftover chicken from other recipes.   Add the cooked, shredded chicken to the Lemon Chicken Soup before you add the tortellini to warm through.  You will need approximately 2 ½ – 3 cups, depending on how “chunky” you like your soup.


Use fresh, refrigerated tortellini located in the refrigerated section of your grocery store as opposed to dried tortellini on the grocery shelves.  Refrigerated tortellini has been packaged at peak freshness and tastes far superior.

You can use any type of tortellini you prefer. I’ve used 3 cheese, 7 cheese and even sweet sausage.

Do You Cook TORTELLINI Before Adding to Soup?

No, the tortellini will cook right in the simmering broth so it soaks up all the flavor AND you don’t have to dirty another pot.

Can Other Pasta Shapes Be Used?

While I am a HUGE fan of tortellini, you can certainly use other pasta for this Chicken Tortellini Soup – just don’t call it tortellini soup ;).  Orzo, works particularly well as well as other short pastas.  Add the pasta to the soup at the same time as the chicken and cook until al dente.

Can I Use Rice?

Yes, you can replace the tortellini or pasta with rice to make Chicken Lemon Rice Soup recipe.  You will want to use long grain white rice and add it to the pot at the same time as the chicken and cook just until al dente, about 8-12 minutes.

You can use brown rice but you will need to cook it first because it takes too long to simmer on the with the soup – the rest of the ingredients will be overcooked by the time its done!

a spoon scooping up some Lemon Chicken Soup from a white soup pot


  • Chicken broth:  Use low sodium chicken broth and add salt to taste or your soup will be too salty.
  • Salt to taste:  That being said, if you feel like your soup is missing something at the end of cooking, it’s probably salt, so make sure to salt to taste.
  • Customize vegetables:  You can omit veggies or add any of your favorite vegetables such as zucchini, corn, tomatoes, etc.
  • Consistency:  I love chunky soups but the consistency is totally up to you.  For a less chunky soup, simply add additional chicken broth.

How Do You Make Chicken Tortellini Soup?

This Chicken Tortellini Soup has a few steps but it comes together in no time!  You can even chop your veggies ahead of time and use rotisserie chicken for an even faster soup-to-table dinner.  To make:

  1. Sear the chicken and set aside
  2. Cook the vegetables
  3. Add spices, broth and chicken to the pot
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer until chicken is tender
  5. Shred chicken while you add the tortellini
  6. Add spinach, lemon juice and chicken back to the pot
  7. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest

How easy was that?!

Can I Make Chicken Tortellini Soup in the Crockpot?

Yes!  I love preparing this Chicken Tortellini Soup in the crockpot because it delivers extremely tender chicken. To make:

  1. Sear chicken and place in slow cooker.
  2. Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the tortellini, spinach, lemon juice and Parmesan.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat 6 – 7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  4. Shred chicken and add tortellini to the slow cooker (turn to high heat if on low).
  5. Add shredded chicken, spinach and lemon juice and warm through.

What to Serve with Chicken Tortellini Soup?

This Chicken Tortellini Soup is hearty and chunky with chicken, vegetables and pasta so you essentially have a meal-in-one.  That being said, it is always delicious with a big, fresh green salad, and crusty bread.  If you want to make it extra special, serve with Homemade Dinner Rolls or Cheesy Pesto Pull Apart Bread.

Lemon Chicken Soup | Carlsbad Cravings


You can either prep the ingredients for Chicken Tortellini Soup or mostly make the soup ahead of time.

To prep:  chop all your vegetables and keep them in airtight containers or plastic bags in the fridge.  You can even measure out all the seasonings and keep them in an airtight container.

To make:  You can make your soup in advance but if you aren’t serving right away then don’t add the tortellini yet. Instead, keep the soup warm and add tortellini just before serving because it takes minutes to cook.


Chicken Tortellini Soup keeps very well, just take care your tortellini isn’t overcooked initially.  Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Gently warm on the stove top or microwave when ready to eat.


Yes and No.  No, I don’t recommend freezing this Chicken Tortellini Soup WITH the tortellini.  Yes, you can freeze this Chicken Tortellini Soup WITHOUT the tortellini.

Soups with tortellini shouldn’t be frozen because the pasta will basically turn into mush when defrosted.

If you know you are making this Chicken Tortellini Soup specifically to freeze, then make the soup per directions, just don’t add the tortellini.

If you want to make this Chicken Tortellini Soup , eat some, and freeze the leftovers, then I suggest fishing out or gobbling up the tortellini before freezing. When ready to eat, simply cook some tortellini and add it to the soup.

Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe | Carlsbad Cravings

30 Minute One Pot Chicken Tortellini Soup.  To satisfy your tortellini obsession.  Or to create one.

Looking for more One Pot Soups?


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Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe | Carlsbad Cravings

Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup

Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup bursting with pillows of cheesy tortellini, tender chicken, and vegetables kissed with bright, refreshing lemon juice all made in ONE POT. This Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe is quick and easy, comforting and hearty yet light and fresh at the same time! 
Servings: 6 -8
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

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  • 12 oz. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp EACH dried parsley, salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried thyme, dried oregano, ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 9 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15.25 oz. can sweet corn, rinsed and drained
  • 12 oz. UNCOOKED fresh cheese tortellini
  • 4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus more to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
  • lemon zest (optional)


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot oven over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken and sear on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken.
  • Add 2 tablespoons butter/oil to the now empty pot and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 6 minutes. Add carrots and cook until tender – about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook 30 seconds.
  • Add remaining spices, corn, chicken stock and chicken back to the pan.
  • Bring to a boil; cover and reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, remove chicken and let rest 2 minutes then shred.
  • Meanwhile, bring soup back to a boil. Add tortellini and boil 1-2 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove from heat and stir in spinach, lemon juice and chicken.
  • Taste and add additional lemon, salt, pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves.
  • Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest (optional)
  • Sear chicken as instructed above and add uncut chicken to the bottom of a slow cooker, followed by all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the tortellini, spinach, lemon juice and Parmesan. Cover and cook on low heat 6 – 7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • When ready to serve, remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add tortellini to the slow cooker (turn to high heat if on low). After 10 minutes, shred chicken and add back to slow cooker along with spinach and lemon juice. Tortellini should be about cooked by this time, approximately 15 minutes total. When tortellini is completely cooked and spinach wilted, taste and add additional lemon, salt, pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves.
  • Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest (optional)


*You may substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts but they take closer to 20 minutes to cook.
**For a less “chunky” soup, simply add more chicken stock at the end of cooking.
***I like the 5 Cheese Tortellini from Costco (Kirkland Brand)

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  1. Connie says

    I love tortellini too, and this soup really sounds so good! I’d love to have a bowl right now. Saving this recipe for a rainy day…in other words, tomorrow (April showers is a real thing in Boston!)

    • Jen says

      I wish I could bring you a bowl! Soup really is perfect for a rainy day -it somehow makes rain have a purpose 🙂 Thanks Connie, hope you love it!

  2. Sophia says

    I am a BIG fan of lemon in chicken soup. It’s to ally a Greek thing! Love the idea of adding tortellini!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Sophia! I didn’t realize lemon soup was a Greek thing – love your style 🙂

  3. Thalia @ butter and brioche says

    The cool Autumn weather here in Australia is basically demanding hearty soups like this. So thanks for sharing the recipe, it’s idea for me to make.. and I never have made a tortellini soup either!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome! I think you will love the addition of tortellini – I’m excited for you to try it!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Marla, I hope you love it, it is one of my favorites!

  4. Dani says

    Hello! I’m making this tonight, but I was wondering…the package of chicken thighs I’ve thawed out & the package of tortellini I bought are larger (almost double) what the recipe calls for. Do you think it’ll result in a super chunky soup, or should I make some adjustments?

    Thank you!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Dani, You will definitely want to add some extra broth and will need to cook the chicken longer. You might want to add 1/2 more of all the rest of the seasonings/ingredients. Hope this helps!

      • Dani says

        Go ahead and give yourself a big fat high five. This soup is DELICIOUS. I made the stovetop version, omitted the mushrooms bc they are not for me, and wow wow wow. I cannot say enough about it. So much flavor, so much awesome. Bravo! Thanks for adding ANOTHER fabulous dish to our family’s dinner table.

        • Jen says

          Thank you Dani for such an awesome comment/compliment! I am thrilled you loved it so much and found it so flavorful! I love hearing you and your family are enjoying my recipes- thank you!!!

  5. Katie says

    I just made this recipe and it was excellent! It took me longer than 30 minutes (I’m a compulsive recipe checker) but it was really easy. The chicken thighs shredded so easily. I can see myself making this recipe often.

    • Jen says

      Awesome Katie, thank you so much!

  6. Gail Souders says

    Hi Jen, this soup looks so delicious! Wondering if any leftovers, can the soup be frozen? Thanks Much!!!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Gail! Tortellini once cooked in a soup doesn’t freeze super well in my opinion – the texture gets funny. You can separate the pasta from the soup though and just freeze the broth. I hope that helps!

  7. Bliss Ashley says

    Lord have mercy girl,this recipe rocked. I came in from the garden and started this Lemon chicken soup. I loved it!!! Used yellow squash,carrots,onion and spinach. Followed with the seasoning you used.. Omg it’s fantastic.. I’m still sitting here enjoying a 3rd bowl… thanks

    • Jen says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and making my day! That’s awesome you were able to use those veggies from your garden – sounds amazing! I’m o pleased you loved the lemon soup so much!

  8. Deborah Williams says

    Just made it. It is amazing! Didn’t think the corn would work but it does. Absolutely delicious!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Deborah, I’m so pleased the Lemon Chicken Soup was a winner!

  9. Maxine Parrotta says

    I have made several of your recipes Jen, and they have all been delicious. Because you have done all the hard work to develop, test and refine the recipes, it has taken the stress out of cooking. I wonder if you realize what a valuable service you provide to those of us who want to become better cooks but may be a little lacking in confidence. You are a master teacher!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to make my day Maxine! I am honored you have made so many of my recipes and that they give you confidence in the kitchen. Comments like yours make the extra tips and tricks all worth it!

  10. Lori Goodwin says

    This soup is sooo yummy! I have another tortellini soup recipe that’s also really good, but it is very heavy- this soup is filling because of the tortellini and the chicken, but lighter, which I like and the citrus really gives it a brightness.This recipe calls for a lot of spices and I wasn’t sure if they were all going to work together, but they did! Also love the addition of the corn. The only thing I did differently was added Swiss chard(I had it in my garden) instead of the spinach. This has been added to my soup faves! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Lori, I’m thrilled you loved this recipe so much and that it’s made it to your favorites!

  11. SuzyM says

    Excellent flavor! And, I am really picky : ). I did not use the Chicken Boullion because I did not have any. I also only used 8 cups Chicken Broth and 1 cup Frozen Corn instead of canned corn, since I did not have it. It was really very tasty. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome, so pleased you enjoyed it!